I really don't think you're being balanced here, although the previous poster wasn't either. No need to flip the other way (I am a Mac / Linux user):
> You can run anything you like on any Macbook. And as other responders have noted it DOES solve the "too many models" problem, there is a limited selection of base models. It's basically, do you want an air or not and how much memory (RAM and storage) with reasonable defaults so you cannot go wrong simply ordering default configurations.
Yes and no. In reality, things that work and/or look nice or work well on Linux, just don't cut it on a Mac. For example, Inkscape.
> If you help someone buy a Mac you can simply say "try the Apple store Genius Bar first". Chances are they can help, they generally are pretty competent and pretty technical.
Yeah, I do this too. But going to a store can be a pain (for example, if you live too far away from your nearest store, or it is very busy). The last city I lived in, the nearest Apple store was 70 miles away. And you're not going to visit the store for every small problem you have.
>> You still have software problems with upgrades.
> Actually that is REALLY rare, and again - Apple Store, not you. I have not had upgrade problems in years with any Mac software updates.
Really, this is not rare at all. Particularly with the last OS X upgrade, many people I know had lots of different problems, for example with Wifi and networking.
>> People still need to search some forum from time-to-time to figure out how to fix some strange new issue.
> Or have someone help them for free, at an Apple Store. Are you starting to get what makes a Mac such a great idea for non-technical users? How is a non-technical person supposed to search forums for "odd problems" anyway? They cannot.
In reality, Mac users I know, even those who aren't geeks, do spend time searching the web and looking through forums to solve their problems.
>> Ever try and build something from Ports only to have it *not* friggin work when you upgrade?
> Come on man, that's not something the original poster is going to find a problem. If you are compiling UNIX utilities yes you may have some hiccups, but even then you can usually just recompile!
Honestly, if you're doing techie hacking, the reality is you can't beat a Linux box. The main reason is that most UNIX hackers run Linux, so it's the first thing they support or test. Of course, if you're not a geek, then this doesn't matter to you.
>> Apple has gone to great lengths to make the use experienced top-notch, but it still has it's problems just like Windows
> That is the biggest misconception. I still have to help people with modern (Windows 7) pc's from time to time. Macs do NOT have problems anywhere close to what non-technical windows users have every day.
Probably not, but they still do have plenty of problems. OSX has lots of bugs and quite a few poor UI design decision. Linux and Windows also have lots of bugs, although Linux distros have a much worse UI in general.
> To even think about buying a non-technical user a Windows box and all the inherent baggage that comes with it is simply cruel to my mind - and it's a cruelty that as I said will be punishing you as well as the recipient.
I agree that Macs are generally a better choice than Window boxes, although you've got to take cost into account.